From Dr. Jane's Notebook


As a Marriage Counselor, I often ask people what they most want in their lives. And often the reply I hear is "love."

As human beings, we have great needs for love, affection, and communication. Without love, we feel much like a "fish out of water." But this year as we consider Cupid's arrow, it is important to remember that love is not limited to this traditional "flight of the arrow." Rather, there are many kinds of love with which we can choose to fill our lives.

First, there is the love of family, friends, and pets. This is a nurturing love through which we can express caring and concern. This form of love involves responsibility and loyalty and gives us a sense of connectedness in the world.

Then there is love of self which involves caring about and believing in one's self. Lately, much attention has been given to the role of loving one's self in the process of weight loss. It seems that we are more successful in a lot of areas when we encourage ourselves and work on our sense of pride and self-esteem.

There is also the love of work which involves our dedication to what we do. Love of work may refer to vocation or advocation, hobby or exercise, paid or unpaid efforts. But through this dedication we reap the pride of our skills and experience our usefulness on the planet.

On the whole, there is love of life which generates enthusiasm and appreciation for the opportunity to exist. It is this love which makes you feel good just waking up the morning, and this love which serves as a yardstick by which to determine the relative importance of any given problem.

Finally, there is romantic love in which we feel part of a relationship which is greater than the sum of two people. Romantic love is a focal point for feelings and personal growth. It generates a sense of openness to another person, a sense of trust and hope that we are not alone. It is a place of security and laughter, of sharing and problem-solving. And hopefully, it is a place of fun and friendship.

There are many forms of love. What matters most is that we realize the availability of love from various sources in our lives. When you find yourself low in certain areas, remember the others. Or as a wise man once said, "when the well runs dry, remember the river."

ęCopyright 1995, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.

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Last Updated August 30, 1998 by Gary M. Grandon, Ph.D.